paprika vs. smoked paprika

Paprika vs. Smoked Paprika

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Many people are familiar with paprika but not with the smoked version of it.  Yes, we often hear the question as what is the big deal about Paprika vs. Smoked Paprika. How is smoked paprika made? Are they different from usual paprika?

Paprika vs. Smoked Paprika – What’s the Difference?

The questions especially bother those who are crazy about food.  So, we are going to drop answers to all paprika related questions. Let’s get started!

What is Paprika?

It is simple as these are dried peppers and crushed chilies. However, they differ in textures and sometimes in taste as well. Paprika can be finely or roughly crushed while the taste entirely depends on the species of chilly.

What is Smoked Paprika?

Well, there is only single difference i.e. it is smoked. They are dry chilies that are smoked first and then crushed. Because of this, they have smoky flavor due to which they make any dish tasty, but again it depends on individual taste. To smoke chilies, oak is used by the manufactures because they enhance the flavor of chili. Smoked paprika can also be fine as well as rough in texture.

Is the smoked one hotter than regular paprika?

People have this stereotype that smoked ones are hotter however they are just like any other paprika. In fact, all species of paprika are smoked and not just one. There are generic paprikas, Hungarian paprikas and so on.

Talking about Spanish paprika then they range from mild to hot, and there are three forms of it i.e. dulce, Picante, and Agridulce. Most of the paprikas you see in stores are Spanish, and they are labeled as Pimentón de la Vera.

There is sweet paprika as well and the smoked one taste really good. Also, the sweeter one is used in many sauces and even in dishes.

Paprika vs Smoked PaprikaWhich one is best?

Yes, both of them are different, but each of them is unique in taste. A comparison is not possible because every person has different taste. For some people, usual ones are good while others like smoked. There are two types of paprika famous among restaurant owners i.e. sweet and smoky paprika.  The sweet one isn’t very strong and isn’t considered ideal to use in some hearty dishes. It is an individual choice, but professionals prefer smoky paprika.

Can they be substituted?

The answer is ‘yes’ because there is not much difference between them. Frankly speaking, perhaps only Chef can find out the difference, otherwise, it tastes almost the same. However, there are certain dishes in which only sweet paprika or smoky one is used.

It would be good if you try both of them in different dishes or at least you can experiment with them. Coming back to the substitution then yes go for it as it won’t taste bad.

See also: Substitutes for Dry Mustard


Paprika vs. smoked paprika; We hope you have got the difference. Paprika has been the most important ingredient that is used in almost all dishes. As long as you don’t experiment with them, you won’t get the difference between the two based on the taste.

See also: Pepperoncini vs. Banana Pepper

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Monica Chortle

I am one of the home-makers, engaged in the cooking activities for a long hour. While my relatives get bored with any food, I try to find out the new recipes. Moreover, my friends also request me to arrange a party. I get busy in creating distinctive dishes. Read More